Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trip to VA

Yesterday, Kay and I drove down to Gainesville, VA Medical Center for my hearing recheck. Since I had had hearing aids before and they were chewed up by my dog I am in the system and so I just called down to the VA to set up another appointment without going through the VA rep in town. My appointment was for 1 pm and I had been told to be early since there is new construction going on and parking would be difficult.

I didn't even recognize the building as they had put up a new section in from of the older center but we finally found a spot to park and had to go through the basement door. Which was exactly where my appointment was, in the Audiology Department. So we arrived a little early and when checking in, I confused the person at the desk. I need to remember that they have my name in their system as Smith-Riggle, whereas in Tricare it's just S. Riggle.

After filling out their question sheet, I was called back as I handed it back. The Technician took me back to the soundproof room for the test. He was an older gentleman, very kind with a good sense of humor. After the actual test, he had to fit me with new hearing aids and in the process had to make a mold of the ear. He had to squirt some molding material into my ear, and as he was doing that it was a little cold and I said, "I have never had anyone do that to me before!" He said. "Glad that I was the first!" He kept talking about how he hardly treats women with my degree of hearing loss that my hearing loss is similar to most of the men who come through here.

As he was telling me that he would send a letter letting me know when to come back, he said I could bring my partner or significant other if I felt the need. Then he sends me to prothestics to pick up a listening device to aid me in hearing the TV, so I didn't have to turn it up so loud. And that department issued me a 'SoundPlus TV Infrared Listening System'.

I must say that the people who work at the Gainesville VA Medical Center are caring, accepting gracious and happy people. My appointment was at 1 pm, we were walking out the door at 1:17 pm. Kay and I was so shocked at how efficient they are.

It was be a crime to turn the administering of The Department of VA Medical over to private companies. Our Veterans would never get the same treatment. After all, it was on the backs of the sacrifices of our military that we can enjoy the rights and privileges so named in our Constitution.

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